1 - The Reach of Empire (GM Reference)


Against the Aeon Throne

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Xenocrat wrote:
dubiousmx wrote:
I started running this yesterday for my group and I noticed that it seems that the cadet's EAC and KAC are off. They are wearing troop ceremonial armour (+1 EAC, +3 EAC) and have a +2 Dex bonus. But the listed values for the cadets are 11 EAC, 13 EAC and don't seem to include the dex bonus. Am I missing something or is this a mistake?
NPC stats are based on CR and designer intent. Attack bonuses and AC aren’t constrained by or calculated based on stats or gear.

I see. I haven't looked through the Alien Archive that much yet so I didn't realize this. I had a feeling it was something I was missing. Still trying to get used to all the differences between Pathfinder and Starfinder. Thanks for the info!

Grand Lodge

I'm running a party of 5, wanted to know if everyone had their party at level 3 before the Sharu fight or did you all level them up once they were completely done with book 1. I know there is normally a spike in power for the players once they hit level 3. I don't want them to die to being under leveled but I also don't want it to be a super easy fight for them also. I already increased the amount of HP Sharu has but I'm looking for some other suggestions as well.

Acquisitives

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Sekou wrote:
I'm running a party of 5, wanted to know if everyone had their party at level 3 before the Sharu fight or did you all level them up once they were completely done with book 1. I know there is normally a spike in power for the players once they hit level 3. I don't want them to die to being under leveled but I also don't want it to be a super easy fight for them also. I already increased the amount of HP Sharu has but I'm looking for some other suggestions as well.

We ran it Starfinder Society with a group of six level 1s. Since you don't gain a level in SFS until after the entire AP, none of us had even hit 2 before the final encounter.

We did fine. The Solarian went down and I was injured, but we took her down the same round as that happened.

That said, we were a coordinated group of no-nonsense beat stick level 1 PCs designed to roll combat encounters.

Witchwyrd Envoy (Clever Feint w/melee flanking) [me]
Korasha Lashunta Solarian (Weapon)
Dwarf Soldier (Heavy Weapon)
Human Soldier (Bombard)
Nuar Technomancer
Sarcesian Soldier (Sharpshooter)

I think that you don't need to level them up to 3 before the final encounter unless they are having trouble with the encounters leading up to her in the ship.

Scarab Sages

Sekou wrote:
I'm running a party of 5, wanted to know if everyone had their party at level 3 before the Sharu fight or did you all level them up once they were completely done with book 1. I know there is normally a spike in power for the players once they hit level 3. I don't want them to die to being under leveled but I also don't want it to be a super easy fight for them also. I already increased the amount of HP Sharu has but I'm looking for some other suggestions as well.

Book 2 actually says that PCs start the adventure at 3rd level.


What condition does Drift Stasis Sickness cause? (Pg48)

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Developer

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RocketLettuce wrote:

What condition does Drift Stasis Sickness cause? (Pg48)

Thanks!

Drift stasis sickness uses the physical disease track (Core Rulebook p. 414) to impart its conditions.


Stiletto wrote:

OK, what is the purpose of Mission E: Storehouse Ruse? So, the store clerk is dressed in the cadet's armor, examining his weapon and I know my PCs are going to see a lone cadet, in an enclosed space, and they're going to immediately take him out only to find out it is one of the settlers. The guy has the helmet on, so they won't be able to instantly tell that he's not a cadet, he's got a weapon and seems to have just trashed the place. Yes, there's a skill check to notice the odd behavior, but still I prefer not to force my players to roll checks like that unless they ask for it (I may have to do so this time).

On a side note, I'm going to have a little fun with my players. As soon as they land on Nakondis and exit their ship, I'm going to have two Goblins drop out of one of the landing gear bays and run off into the jungle. "Great, you guys just introduced Goblins to the Nakondis ecology!" Maybe I'll have some goblins show up later or maybe Hobgar/Goblin mixes.

Storehouse Ruse is the most flawed encounter in Part 2. While The Reach of Empire is excellent overall, this encounter doesn't rise above the bar.

The idiocy of a colonist dressing up as an Azlanti and then remaining in the storehouse is problematic on its own. However, the structure of the encounter itself is even more problematic. Aibretta knows that an Aeon Guard cadet was sent to the storehouse and worries that Rendell might have attempted some ill-advised heroics.

Problem 1) This comes on the heels of Aibretta having just informed the PCs that the bulk of the colony has been cowed by the Azlanti. Rendell isn't one of the colony's rebels. Some context regarding Aibretta's opinion of Rendell such as "he's an idealist, he's not too bright", etc. would be helpful.

Problem 2) Rendell is an idiot, apparently, even if it's a panic-induced idiocy. Rendell fears discovery in a tiny colony and feels the best course of action is to disguise himself as a foreign soldier where he doesn't speak Azlanti and stay where he is with the body of a dead soldier? He doesn't attempt to flee? He doesn't seek refuge with a friend?

Problem 3) This is the biggest issue with the encounter. It only logically works as a time-bound encounter. By the time Aibretta informs the players, the clock has already been running. Cadets or not, the Azlanti are military occupying a hostile colony. They don't do check-ins on a regular & frequent basis? In my game my players didn't go to check the storehouse first. By the time that they got around to it half a day later, they discovered the storehouse empty as Azlanti reinforcements had taken Rendell into custody and reclaimed their fallen comrade. Rendell got bundled into the Execution encounter instead.

Problem 4) Aibretta is concerned Rendell might do/say something ill-advised and thinks sending strangers to check it out is the right move? She could have gone to the storehouse herself without arousing suspicion as could any other colonist.

Unfortunately, this entire encounter falls into the forced - "provide necessary XP/illogical fetch-quest"-style.


Getting ready to run this adventure for a group of mine. Any notes that anyone might have to a DM about to run this adventure?


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Aunders wrote:
Getting ready to run this adventure for a group of mine. Any notes that anyone might have to a DM about to run this adventure?

Reach of Empire has great story hooks and a cool concept and pays homage to some classic Star Wars style imagery and action. I like it quite a bit. If you check out my review, however, you can see that I do think it has some structural and plot problems. I feel pretty strongly that these issues were inflicted upon it by Starfinder AP’s lower page count.

For my playthrough, I had read the adventure but my group wanted to play early so I ran it pretty much as written. A lot of the issues that I have with the adventure could be modified or removed with a bit of additional prep. We had fun but I feel it was a missed opportunity. It could have been much more memorable with a bit of tweaking.

KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER
The list below deals with most of the issues I have with The Reach of Empire.

1. Azlanti Communications Capability – This is detailed in the module, though much later in than it should be. However, there is little discussion of how the Azlanti forces coordinate or respond. This reinforces the dungeon-design that is applied to the colony. Give thought to what/how the Azlanti would communicate status reports, alerts, and under-fire scenarios. Which Azlanti know what and when should matter.

2. Pacing – Being an adventure where PC-injury is wildly variable, it’s unsurprising that no specific timeline is established. However, the story in RoE work best when taking a speed-of-plot approach of an action movie. The internal logic of the story breaks down quickly if significant periods of time go by between the PCs arrival and the colony’s liberation. Starfinder’s Stamina system already mitigates a lot of short-adventuring day issues but if you want to adhere closely to the adventure as-written it has to be a really tight timeframe. After that, you’ll need the suggested additional prep or improve because what the Azlanti might be doing on Day 1 when the PCs arrive makes NO sense on Day 3.

3. The Resistance…isn’t one – The colony is under the thumb of the Azlanti and no meaningful resistance exists. This doesn’t change once the PCs arrive. Aibretta exists primarily to play quest-giver and the other resistance members personify the fetch-quests. Aside from Aibretta providing shelter and limited aid, the PCs are on their own. As a result, most of Aibretta’s missions are pointless except as a means to acquire necessary XP. Which brings me to…

4. Replace most of the resistance quests – These are old-school fetch-quests that do little to advance the overall story. They also trigger the “wouldn’t strangers be more suspicious than locals?” response. Hobgar Liberation, Cemetary Showdown, the Execution, and the Assault on the Garrison are decent. The rest are a waste of space. This leads me to…

5. Utilize Nakondis more effectively – Replace the aforementioned missions with encounters that better leverage the setting detailed in the Nakondis backmatter article. Instead of looking for a report about a mining accident, have the PCs rescue trapped miners. Colony under water rationing? Have the PCs gather water from Lightning Lake using vehicles. Get some hoverbike vehicle action going. Maybe have the PCs discover that those larger hobgars do exist in a bigfoot-style encounter.

6. Define a timeline – While a compressed timeline for PCs actions in the adventure works best, understanding the timeline in the greater scheme of things helps roleplay NPCs more effectively. The Azlanti have been occupying the colony for at least a couple of weeks prior to the PCs arrival. Sharu’s team is cut off due to the engine overload, but they are still in communication with the colony. This ties back into #1, but once Sharu gets word that things are going badly back at the colony, she should be shifting focus to digging free. If the PCs take too long or rest too frequently, the Azlanti should retreat to the Royal Venture if the colony is slipping their grasp or Sharu and her forces should reinforce the garrison.

7. Don't treat the colony like a dungeon - This one just galls me. Fog or no, people can't hear gunshots or screams? What about the other colonists aside from the "resistance" members? Especially since they have limited numbers, the Azlanti should show as much force as possible when they can.

8. Azlanti Responses – The Azlanti occupiers are a barebones force. They have limited numbers. As presented, this keeps the Azlanti in CR-appropriately managed groups. To be a threat, they have to be intelligent & ruthless opponents. If they can’t find the PCs, can they find their ship? To they set a trap and use a colonist as bait? Do they strongarm a colonist to find and attack the PCs (or Aibretta)? When do they call for reinforcements? With their drones destroyed, can the Azlanti send up some kind of communications relay to contact the Barazad? Etc. These suggestions certainly break the standard CR-encounter design of your typical dungeon but the PCs aren’t in a dungeon. To make the Azlanti memorable, they have to be a threat.


Hi, im trying to set up a game online, but I cant get the maps to convert to roll20 properly, is there a way I can fix this? OR is there something else I can use? I don't have any money or a job so I cant really spend a ton of money on subscriptions or stuff like that so I think ive run out of options and I might have to just cancel my game if I cant find help.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Hi, im trying to set up a game online, but I cant get the maps to convert to roll20 properly, is there a way I can fix this? OR is there something else I can use? I don't have any money or a job so I cant really spend a ton of money on subscriptions or stuff like that so I think ive run out of options and I might have to just cancel my game if I cant find help.

Have you tried?

https://wiki.roll20.net/Aligning_Maps


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Lord Fyre wrote:
alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Hi, im trying to set up a game online, but I cant get the maps to convert to roll20 properly, is there a way I can fix this? OR is there something else I can use? I don't have any money or a job so I cant really spend a ton of money on subscriptions or stuff like that so I think ive run out of options and I might have to just cancel my game if I cant find help.

Have you tried?

https://wiki.roll20.net/Aligning_Maps

wasn't aware it was a thing, thank you.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Hi, im trying to set up a game online, but I cant get the maps to convert to roll20 properly, is there a way I can fix this? OR is there something else I can use? I don't have any money or a job so I cant really spend a ton of money on subscriptions or stuff like that so I think ive run out of options and I might have to just cancel my game if I cant find help.

Have you tried?

https://wiki.roll20.net/Aligning_Maps
wasn't aware it was a thing, thank you.

Hopefully, it helps. :)


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In my earlier post I cited defining a timeline as a recommendation for GMs. Below is the timeline that I created for my game when I ran it. For any GM, there will be variance in the exact number of days since travel times are (or at least can be) randomly determined.

Doing this helped me on a couple of fronts:
1. It validated that the AP's events held together in the context of Starfinder in-system and Gap travel. Since it's a Paizo AP, I expected this but it was still good to know that events held to internal consistency without GM intervention. Plenty of adventures over the years have failed to do this.

2. It provided a sense of context for NPC mindsets, both for the invading Azlanti and the occupied colonists. This was crucial with my group for answering basic "who, what, & when" questions in conversations with NPCs and kept me from having to wing it and keep the improv consistent.

3. Sharu and her team have to have been at the Royal Venture for a brief time or the Azlanti look even more incompetent than as I summarized in my review and earlier posts. Sharu wouldn't keep her team trapped in the Royal Venture for an extended period and Olaraja wouldn't forgo regular communications or sending a patrol to help dig her out if Sharu and her team were trapped for days.

4. It underscored the fact that the events of Rise of Empire take place over a short period. Otherwise, the transmission that kicks off Book 2 arrives before Book 1 is completed. If the GM allows for an extended delay, it makes the Stewards look incompetent and also undercuts the "we can't get a ship there fast enough, please help" part of the transmission.

So, here's the timeline from my run-through. Text in parentheses at the end refer to citation of the event in the AP, not a specific day/sequence.

314 AG
Zolan Ulivestra learns of scholars researching Azlanti pre-Drift interstellar travel. Ulivestra convinces IVSC to send out survey probes with Ulivestra overseeing the project. Ulivestra is intrigued with the voyage of the Royal Venture and makes finding it his personal mission.

318 AG
Day 1 - IVSC probe enters Nakon system and malfunctions. Broadcasts a message to the IVSC before crashing. (RoE)

Day 3 - Ulivestra learns of probe data of Nakondis. (RoE)

Day 7 - The Barazad is dispatched from Gulta to the Nakon system. (RoE)

Day 24 – The Barazad reaches the Nakon system. It begins scanning planets of the system, working from the sun outward. (RoE)

Day 25 – The Barazad moves on to Nadonis, the 2nd planet of the Nakon system. (RoE)

Day 30 – The Barazad reaches Nakondis (RoE)

Day 31 – The Azlanti invade and occupy Madelon's Colony. Cedona sends distress call message to Bastion. Colony communications array destroyed soon after. (RoE)

Day 32 – The Barazad transmits an update to Ulivestra. (RoE)

Day 40 – The PCs’ ship leaves Absalom Station headed for Nakondis. (RoE)

Day 47 - Ulivestra dispatches the Silver Needle (Vanguard Comet model) to Nakondis. Also, Cedona’s distress call reaches Bastion. (RoE)

Day 48 - The Stewards identify the PCs’ ship as bound for Nakondis and transmit message for it. (EftPM)

Day 52 - Silver Needle arrives at Nakondis. Rune Drive and Cedona are brought on board. Silver Needle departs. (RoE)

Day 53 - Barazad begins survey of remaining Nakon system. (RoE)

Day 57 - The Silver Needle arrives at Gulta. (RDG)

Day 58 - Cedona and Rune Drive taken to Aurelos aboard the Starunner. (RDG)

Day 59 - Sharu takes team to Royal Venture to see what other information or artifacts you can recover. Sets up base camp. (RoE)

Day 60 - Reactivation of the Royal Venture's power core results in an overload that collapses rear engine of the ship, trapping Sharu and her team inside. Sharu notifies Olaraja but is confident that she and her team can find another way out or dig their way out and have sufficient rations for now. (RoE)

Cedona and Rune Drive arrive at Aurelos. Interrogation of Cedona begins. (RDG)

Day 61 – PCs’ ship arrives in Nakon system. Lands on Nakondis (RoE)

Day 67 – Lt. Evosco’s transmission for the PCs reaches Nakondis (EftPM)

So, in my play-through the Azlanti occupation is 30 days old. Sharu has just become trapped within the Royal Venture. Some of the Azlanti's poor tactics can be explained away by the routine/boredom of a month-long occupation. The colonists are cowed and beaten, at least until the PCs arrive. Cedona's interrogation has just begun. Quite a bit of time will have passed by the time the PCs reach her in Book 2.

I realize that this level of attention to detail is more than many GMs would care to undertake but I find such things greatly help me in understanding the plot and portraying NPCs. I really wish Paizo would begin to incorporate something like this (albeit less specific, probably) in the APs.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group finished liberating Madelon's Landing yesterday and I have to say this was WAY too easy for them. Everything (except the first space combat) was just walking through the enemies. Even without disquises since we had one SRO, one Dragonkin, one Shobhad and one Ryphorian so we had one who actually could have used the armors.

The SRO also gave some headache since Hobgars love tech. The "toaster" even suggested, after having one group of Hobgars try to dismember him, that they should simply kill all the creatures and walk away :P I managed to steer them away from this path.

Anyway, with two melee fighters (dragonkin technomancer and Shobhad Soldier), SRO mechanic and Ryphorian Mystic they walked through everyone. With the 10-15ft reach the big guys had they simply took every room in the garrison under their threat range the second the fighting started. A few times someone actually got damage over their stamina but nothing else. The most anticlimatic encounter was Olaraja. He managed to sneak behind them and hit the Magic missile attack on the mystic. After this, Mystic casted Hold Person and the big guys pummeled him down in one round.

I really hope the third part is harder or I might add some enemies to the encounters (without extra xp since it might unbalance the later encounters). It might be this was easy if the developers thought about new players but my players finished Dead Suns and knew how to make their characters efficient. Anyway, if you have experienced players the encounters are probably too easy to be any kind of challenge for them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That tends to be a common thing with APs that I've seen in Pathfinder as well. Experienced players who can build efficiently can make some adventures a cakewalk. I also don't believe that they had races outside the core races in mind when they wrote it so that may certainly play a part in it.

I would definitely bump some enemies up to see if that helps a bit. Any cadets -> Sr. cadets could make them be a bit more durable.

As for Olaraja, that's the way the dice rolls. My encounter was anticlimatic as I missed every Jolting Surge cast and got rushed down. He only lasted a few rounds in my game.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm preparing this for a group of five. I think I'll start out with the first couple of encounters as written to get a sense of how difficult things will be for them. Maybe some of the cadets have grenades.

I can't help but think that Cedona's house is a strange omission. I know it would be the first thing I would go for if I were playing. I'm planning to have it have mostly the same information available as Madelon's house but with a highly encrypted computer. Plus her pet squox Cubber and maybe a clue about her old job.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I decided to "spice things up" by raising the number of Electrovores from 2 to 3. Well, considering their AoE-attacks this really did spice things up :D
The players won but 2/4 went down and one went to 0 Resolve since he always took more damage from AoE after stabilizing. But hey, at least it was a challenge :) I'm going to keep throwing some extra enemies from time to time to keep things more interesting.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One more thing came to mind: since there was no use for the hovertrikes in Madelon I wonder what was the point of the voicebox mission. Or is Ludvar Cresk just such an ***hole that he won't give the parts to the saviours of the colony since he can't speak? :D

I decided they get the trikes anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe part of the voicebox mission/hovertrike might be for the party to realize that there are hovertrikes in the colony and they could use them to travel on the planet, especially for their trip to the Royal Venture. Unless they openly start looking for it, I'm not sure if the colonists will offer the hovertrike knowledge freely. Their means of traval would affect the final battle against the Barazad so that's probably the only "use" for it.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BPorter wrote:
Aunders wrote:
Getting ready to run this adventure for a group of mine. Any notes that anyone might have to a DM about to run this adventure?

Reach of Empire has great story hooks and a cool concept and pays homage to some classic Star Wars style imagery and action. I like it quite a bit. If you check out my review, however, you can see that I do think it has some structural and plot problems. I feel pretty strongly that these issues were inflicted upon it by Starfinder AP’s lower page count.

For my playthrough, I had read the adventure but my group wanted to play early so I ran it pretty much as written. A lot of the issues that I have with the adventure could be modified or removed with a bit of additional prep. We had fun but I feel it was a missed opportunity. It could have been much more memorable with a bit of tweaking.

KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER
The list below deals with most of the issues I have with The Reach of Empire.

1. Azlanti Communications Capability – This is detailed in the module, though much later in than it should be. However, there is little discussion of how the Azlanti forces coordinate or respond. This reinforces the dungeon-design that is applied to the colony. Give thought to what/how the Azlanti would communicate status reports, alerts, and under-fire scenarios. Which Azlanti know what and when should matter.

2. Pacing – Being an adventure where PC-injury is wildly variable, it’s unsurprising that no specific timeline is established. However, the story in RoE work best when taking a speed-of-plot approach of an action movie. The internal logic of the story breaks down quickly if significant periods of time go by between the PCs arrival and the colony’s liberation. Starfinder’s Stamina system already mitigates a lot of short-adventuring day issues but if you want to adhere closely to the adventure as-written it has to be a really tight timeframe. After that, you’ll need the suggested additional prep or improve because...

This is gold.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

1. Azlanti Communications Capability – This is detailed in the module, though much later in than it should be. However, there is little discussion of how the Azlanti forces coordinate or respond. This reinforces the dungeon-design that is applied to the colony. Give thought to what/how the Azlanti would communicate status reports, alerts, and under-fire scenarios. Which Azlanti know what and when should matter.

2. Pacing – Being an adventure where PC-injury is wildly variable, it’s unsurprising that no specific timeline is established. However, the story in RoE work best when taking a speed-of-plot approach of an action movie. The internal logic of the story breaks down quickly if significant periods of time go by between the PCs arrival and the colony’s liberation. Starfinder’s Stamina system already mitigates a lot of short-adventuring day issues but if you want to adhere closely to the adventure as-written it has to be a really tight timeframe. After that, you’ll need the suggested additional prep or improve because...

The PCs don't HAVE to know why the Azlanti can't communicate with one another, but the GM needs to. I just ruled that the signal jammer also prevented communication between Sharu and the colony Azlanti. As cadets, I ruled they didn't have comm systems installed - they were under a commander of a unit, practicing drills and were given standing orders for colony procedure. Yeah, it calls for suspending disbelief, but I glossed over it quickly enough. Plus the PCs acted so fast to eliminate them in the colony (all in one day.)

Truth be told, the party did the entire colony in one day of in-game time, from landing to eliminating Olaraja. Yes, it was a tense final fight, with no resolve left among PCs. Good dramatic action, as the Azlanti were poised to exterminate the remaining colonists.


Just finished this one recently. It went well.

Party of 6, built for various things. Skill, spells, shooting, melee, they're covered for everything, though of course not everyone is good at everything.

The party went for Madelon's residence first after learning about the resistance, and immediately blundered their way into the sonic trap. A high roll of the d6s and five botched saves later and the party's mystic and technomancer were both already down. The mechanic also figured out that the trap seemed to have a line to the Azlanti base, and they rightly assumed that they'd just sounded the alarm. They grabbed their unconscious people and bailed, leaving the ranger (converted from PF) to watch from stealth in the forest, since he was the only one of them who made his save, and his stealth is very good. They figured they'd at least try and get an idea of how fast their enemy responded to things so that the mission wouldn't be a total bust.

The ranger rolled terrible stealth, the bad guys rolled great perception, the ranger lost initiative, and he got captured. He spent the rest of level one in prison, roleplaying with the captured colonists, and getting interrogated by Olaraja. The scene basically cut back to him between each of the missions that the rest of the party did.

...The fact that the party botched that early trap so hard actually did amazing things for the early campaign though. With healing resources in short supply, and one party member missing, the five PCs on the outside really felt the pressure of going into missions with some damage already on them. The ranger got to feel useful in prison too, managing to goad some info out of Olaraja during their interrogation sessions (info which I quietly removed from later datapads so that his achievement would really feel worthwhile), though taunting the azlanti man earned him one heck of a beating when Olaraja snapped on him.

The battle with Olaraja went great too. Once again, the party was devastated by a trap (it actually got the exact same 17 damage roll as the previous trap, the PCs just fared better because they were 2nd level this time), and then Olaraja used the captive ranger to try and goad them into dropping their weapons. Fortunately Cubber saved the day with a distraction, allowing the solarian (second-best stealth in the party) to slip into Olaraja's office and around behind him using the same secret passage he'd used to get behind the party, getting the ranger away from him, and providing a flank to the soldier. Still, by the end of that fight, only the solarian was still standing.

The whole resistance thing went down over the course of 2 days.


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One thing I added for my campaign is that I made the cadets 14-16 year olds with the senior cadets being 17-18, one it adds levity to the encounters as these are just kids, second these "kids" are kind of badass which made my players worry about the standard troops and seasoned veterans, one of my players immediately resorted to trying to learn azlanti innorder to try to use diplomacy rather than violence

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

My Azlanti cadets are young teenagers as well, but it didn't add levity. My party is well aware that they are faced with zealous teenagers, which has caused some qualms and a much darker tone. On the other hand, I liked the depth of role-playing and reget it brought out when my party decided to execute a captured Azlanti teen.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

So there's no transcript of the holographic interview that Madelon has with Cedona about the Royal Venture, so I made one up. Use it or adapt it as you will:

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

The camera focuses on Cedona, who looks more excited and happy than you've ever seen her. Life as a colonist had been good for her. She looks healthier, and just more at ease.

MADELON [off-screen]: "Okay, go!"

CEDONA [sticks out tongue, laughing]: "You sound just like a vid-director. Okay, so here's what I know about the ship. Madelon, this is a big find! I mean, huge."

MADELON [off-screen, joking]: "So you're sayin' we can't salvage her for parts?"

CEDONA: "You do that, and I will kill you. Pact World scientists need to see this. I'm pretty sure this ship crashed here before the gap and it's azlanti tech. Also, it's just simply beautiful."

Cedona pauses to show off some stills she took of the interior. There are gold-tipped sconces and decorative frills everywhere. It looks like a high-end luxury liner.

CEDONA: "Just look at this. Someone important owned this ship. It's a huge piece of history. Now, look at this engine room!"

Cedona pauses to show stills of a room that appears to be part jungle now. Most of the room is covered in moss and creeping vines. An area at the eastern end of the room contains two doors. The north door appears intact while the east door is askew in its frame. What was once a door to the south is now nothing but charred slag.

CEDONA: "That's where I found this."

Cedona holds up a cube approximately 3 feet on each side. It has several ports on one face, all of which are connected to the control harness via thick cables. It has no display panel or other obvious means of activating it, but it's covered in old runes and grey crystals.

CEDONA: "I think this is the key to ultra-fast travel that doesn't involve the drift, but I'm not sure. We've got to tell the Stewards about this, Madelon. This... this could be as big as drift engines."

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Do your players want to rescue the miners? Here's a starting place for this. I'm planning on following this up with a fight with some territorial bolidas in the mines, and then calling the rescue successful!

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

Your journey to BTEP3 is uneventful, even though navigating over the ever-present fog provides challenges of its own. What you see of Nakondis, its verdant forests, the Blue Tin range, the swirling mists and crackling lighting storms off Lightning Lake, is all beautiful. Goraya points out landmarks along the way, and your pilot executes a beautiful landing in the small clearing outside the mining camp, where rescue operations are underway. There are above ground tents and heavy digging equipment everywhere. As Goraya disembarks, two teenage lashunta girls run up to hug her, calling out in distress, “Aunt Goraya! Aunt Goraya! Dad’s trapped down there! He’s been down there for days!”

“I know. I came as soon as I could,” Goraya assures them. “Now why don’t you put me to work?”

A young human man of tien ancestry comes rushing up to you. “Oh you’re here! I’m Sam Chang, chief mining engineer.” He takes a deep breath and shakes your hands. “We’ve had a bunch of setbacks during this rescue dig. Multiple small cave-ins, tearing apart of our equipment by whatever’s down there. We had some communications to start, but that went away with the later cave-ins. We’re starting to think that’s whatever’s interfering with us could be intelligent. Do you think you can help us? We sure could use it!”

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

Things you can do to help out at the Rescue Site:
Don’t just roll dice -- roleplay this! The better you do at these skill challenges, the faster you get to the trapped miners, and the sooner you head to the Royal Venture site!

Assess Stability & Safety of the Dig Site
Engineering, Physical Science, Computers, Perception, or Profession (miner, scientist)

Organize Medicine, Food and other Emergency Supplies
Life Science, Medicine, Perception (to find them), Related Professions (business, housekeeping, chef, medical)

Try to Re-Establish Communications
Computers, Culture (to establish codes), Mysticism, Related Professions

Help Move Equipment and / or Clear Rubble
Activate mining carts, move rubble, find and make good places to tunnel.
Acrobatics, Athletics, Engineering, Piloting, Survival, Profession Miner

Check for Signs of Whatever’s Making this Trouble
Life Science, Survival, Perception, Mysticism

Keep Morale High
Sense Motive, Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Related Professions (anything people-oriented or related to an icon theme)

Travel In The Shafts to Help Repair Crews
Athletics, Acrobatics, Engineering, Related Professions (Miner, Emergency Worker, Maintenance)

Or... Other Options you can come up with!

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